The struggles are real when it comes to having a day job, while also continuing to pursue your passion for music. As an independent Filipino musician, we need to work in order to sustain ourselves and our music.

Josh Villena, lead singer and guitarist of Autotelic, one of the biggest OPM bands today, not to mention he also plays for Peryodiko and Maya’s Anklet. He used to have a day job and play gigs at night, now he does music full-time. He shared with us some insights on how he was able to balance his life back then.

How did you get started in your day job?

I started working at my first day job back in mid 2013. after i graduated college in 2012, i took a break for almost a year doing a few sideline projects.

Did you feel it was getting in the way of your music? and why?

I didn’t actually feel that work was getting in the way of my music. I managed to balance it later on. Pero noon dumating na yung big projects with big brands, music demanded much of my attention. Kailangan ko na pumili between work or music. Kapag hindi ko kasi binigay ang 100% na attention ko sa music project, for sure mawawala siya.

How did you balance your day job and gig life and what were the struggles?

I disciplined myself by going home and taking immediate rest right after our sets. Sabi ko din sa sarili ko na “bawi-bawi na lang kapag kulang ang tulog at pahinga.”

“Most of the time, puyat ako dahil late na nakakauwi from gigs. Binabawi ko na lang sa kape haha.”

Malaking struggle ang transportation. There were times na sumasakay ako ng bus dala ang guitar and other gear. Sometimes i’d take the cab kahit magastos and I just tell myself, “sacrifice na lang muna.”

How did these struggles affect you and how did you deal with them?

I learned to be patient. but more importantly, I learned how crucial it is to manage and balance my daily schedule. self-discpline talaga ang kailangan. I was playing for three bands (Autotelic, Peryodiko, Maya’s Anklet) habang may day job ako. Kinailangan ko lang mag fix ng priorities at sumunod sa commitments.

How did you decide to leave your day job and do music full-time?

There was one morning that I just realized the weight of one major project for Autotelic. It needed my one hundred percent attention at babangga na talaga siya sa oras ng day job ko.

What is your message to other musicians who are having this struggle of balancing work and gig life?

Just keep being excellent on whatever task or job that is being given to you. It’s important to know what you really want. Set your daily goals and manage your schedule. Practice self-discipline and never take sleep for granted.